It's all the rage these days for a business to have a mission statement and to be a purpose-driven company. I should know, I studied business and marketing at university. LOL.
But the fact is, Mee a Bee does have a strong philosophy and I'd love to share it with you.
You're a mum (or a dad) and you want to give your kids the best start in life. I'm no different. When I started this business ten years ago it was because I wanted to have a business that would help me sharpen my skills as a marketer but also develop a money-making 'thing' that would mean I could stay home with my kids.
That was my first objective: to build up a part-time, side-hustle, hobby-business into a real business that would allow me to earn enough money to keep the wolves at bay. The wolf was my husband, who often used to inquire as to when I might be returning to work. NEVER!!! I used to cackle maniacally in my head.
I started this business, Mee a Bee, secretly. I used the housekeeping money to buy some fabric, made five little tote bags, and listed them on Etsy.
Meanwhile, my husband was talking about when we had two incomes again ...
Honestly, after the first year of maternity leave, when I handed in my notice officially at work, I knew that I would never go back to a corporate job. I told you in my two previous posts that raising bilingual children was one of our main priorities. I just couldn't see how that would be easy if the kids were in day-care all day while I was at work. Day-care would have meant being in a completely Japanese environment from early morning till early evening. That wasn't going to work for me or our family.
So that's why I came up with the idea of starting a business.
I was already a huge fan of Etsy and I thought it looked easy to start a shop there - it is easy! But what could I sell? I tossed a few ideas around but also did my research. I looked at my skills, sewing was one of them, then I found what I perceived to be a hole in the market, for quality children's bags. I was not the best seamstress! But I could sew a straight line. (Anyone ever notice that my bags consist only of straight lines??!!)
Going into it I had a couple of other prevailing beliefs and ideas.
- sell only handmade items
- use only Japanese-made fabrics and materials
- use natural and non-toxic fabric
- use only non-character fabrics (No Disney, Pokemon etc)
I'm going to explore each of these tenets of our philosophy in my next blog posts. They were important to me then and they are still important to me now, ten years on.
Read my post on Japanese made fabrics and the excessive use of chemicals in the industry and where we stand here at Mee a Bee.